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Oil Free Vegan Creamy Italian Dressing

4.75 from 4 votes

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This Vegan Creamy Italian Dressing is dairy free, oil free, and absolutely delicious! Enjoy it on your green salads, your sandwiches, and in your pasta salads. It’s so quick, easy, and tasty, you’ll want to make it all the time!

Small bow of green salad with jar of salad dressing and large bowl of green salad in background

Salad dressing is what makes the salad. And this creamy vegan Italian dressing is so full of flavor, it’s the perfect topping for your fresh, crisp, leafy greens. It’s one of my favorite dressings, and can be made in minutes!

There are more and more vegan salad dressings appearing in the stores all the time, but we rarely buy them. Most of them contain a ton of oil, which I think is disgusting on salad, as well as high fructose corn syrup and other processed ingredients. And those dressings are expensive!

When you make your own dressing, you have total control over the ingredients that go into your recipe, and you can easily adjust it to your preferred taste.

But most importantly, in my opinion, homemade dressing tastes so much better! With this oil free Italian dressing, you get all the flavor without the oil and dairy.

What do you need to make Creamy Italian Dressing

This easy dressing is made with simple ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry.

Labeled ingredients for vegan creamy Italian dressing
  • Raw cashews
  • Garlic – I use 3 garlic cloves, but adjust this to your taste preference
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Lemon juice – fresh lemon juice is best, but bottled is fine
  • Maple syrup
  • Dijon mustard
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Italian Seasoning – this is usually a blend of basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can use a blend of these dried herbs.
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Black Pepper

How to make oil free creamy Italian dressing

If you don’t have a high speed blender, you will need to soak your cashews before using them. The easiest way to do this is to cover them with water and place in the refrigerator over night.

If you didn’t plan ahead to soak your cashews, you can use a quick soak method. Place the cashews in a small pot of water. Bring to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat and let the cashews sit for 15 minutes.

Drain and rinse your soaked cashews. Place them and all the other ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste preference.

Bowl of green salad wth creamy Italian dressing drizzled over it and jar of dressing next to it

Possible substitutions

  • Instead of cashews, you can make this dressing with slivered almonds. For a nut free option, you can substitute sunflower seeds. The taste will be a little different, but it will still be delicious. For a fat free dressing, you can use white beans instead of nuts or seeds.
  • Try using a different vinegar – red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar are the most common types used in salad dressings, but apple cider vinegar can also be used.
  • Instead of maple syrup, try agave nectar, date syrup, or another sweetener.
  • Use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs.

Serving suggestions

The most common way to use this delicious dressing is on a green salad. It would also be a delicious sandwich spread, dipping sauce, bowl sauce, or pasta salad dressing.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between Italian dressing and creamy Italian dressing?

Italian dressing is usually a mixture of oil, vinegar, and herbs. Creamy Italian dressing is made with mayonnaise, or in this case, cashew cream.

Is Italian dressing vegan?

Generally, vinaigrette style Italian dressings are vegan although sometimes they contain cheese. Because creamy Italian dressings are made with a mayonnaise base they contain eggs and sometimes dairy. Be sure to read the label on any store bought dressing to make sure it is vegan.

How long does this dressing last?

This vegan Italian dressing will last for 5 to 7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to store my dressing in a mason jar.

Serving of green salad with jar of salad dressing and large bowl of salad in the background

Looking for more dressing recipes? Check these out:

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Bowl of green salad wth creamy Italian dressing drizzled over it and jar of dressing next to it

Vegan Creamy Italian Dressing

Teresa Sklenicka
This Vegan Creamy Italian Dressing is dairy free, oil free, and absolutely delicious! Enjoy it on your green salads, your sandwiches, and in your pasta salads. It's so quick, easy, and tasty, you'll want to make it all the time!
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 59 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • If you do not have a high speed blender, soak the cashews overnight. Or do a quick soak: place them in a small pot of water, bring the pot to a boil, remove from heat, and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain the cashews.
  • If you have a high speed blender, skip the soaking step.
  • Place all the cashews, water, and all the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Taste the dressing and adjust to your taste preferences.
  • Store in a small jar or other closed container.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbspCalories: 59kcalCarbohydrates: 4.8gProtein: 2.3gFat: 3.6gSodium: 167.5mgPotassium: 100.12mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 1.6gVitamin A: 2.55IUVitamin C: 1.2mgCalcium: 13.4mgIron: 0.93mg
Keyword Oil Free, Quick & Easy, salad dressing, Vegan
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By on July 24th, 2022

About Teresa Sklenicka

I love creating tasty, oil-free, vegan recipes that everyone will love (even non-vegans)! Here you'll find vegan versions of your favorite comfort foods, as well as some new tastes! Join me on a path to improving your health, helping the planet, and saving animals.

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